You Didn’t Plant That?

Life lessons abound in a variety of places.  I’ve spent some time over the last couple years looking at trends and writing about life lessons. Many of our experiences in this life lead to lessons learned and practical applications for the future. What seems to be a simple day, game, or training becomes an opportunity to learn something deeper that helps us to grow as individuals.
I recently had such an experience as it relates to my home garden.  Each year I tend to plant a little something in the spring, usually a combination of flowers, vegetables and greenery.  Some years I plant more than others, and sometimes the garden is planted directly in the ground and sometimes in pots on the deck.  I’ve decided I prefer using pots on the deck…so much easier to control weeds really.

This year was different though.  I had a very busy spring and as much as I enjoy planting and playing in the dirt, I ended up with no time to plant.  So strangely after returning from a recent conference, I went outside to discover some things growing in my pots.

 

Read the rest of the post one at my weekly spot with w2wministries.org – just click here to go directly to the post.

Raising Them to Leave

When they are small it’s hard to imagine our children growing up and leaving us one day in the future.  They are tiny and need us virtually every waking moment, and sometimes they wake us up too.

I’ll never forget, or recover from, the middle of the night heart attacks when one of my children, a very light walker could make it all the way in our room and be leaning over my face to whisper my name.  There is nothing quite like the heart failure of being woken up like that.  Or the time another of my children decided to sleep walk right out of a hotel room in the middle of the night.  #truestory  Crazy memories of trying to operate in a sleep deprived fog and just put one foot in front of the other only get funny after some time has passed.  Add teething, stomach bugs, and wet beds to the mix and really once you have a child you shouldn’t plan on a full night’s sleep until they are at least 10, maybe 20.

Of course I am exaggerating, sort of, and that’s why it’s hard to imagine that one day these challenging days will end.  One day, inevitably, they grow up and they launch out into the world to find and become the adults they were created to be.  While we are busy in those daily tasks of just keeping them alive, or keeping a sharpie marker out of their hands, it’s easy to forget we are raising future adults.  We want them to have certain character qualities as adults, but how many times do we think about the need to teach them responsibility when we are desperate to get the laundry from the washer to the dryer after one cycle instead of restarting it for the third time.

I’ve been in your shoes, and some days still find myself there – days that seem entirely too long and too busy.  If I’m not careful, a week goes by or a month and I wonder what have I done to help build character in my children.

Interested in reading the rest of this post?  Keep reading over on the w2wministries.org site – just click here!

Loving our Children Well

One of my favorite books that has been incredibly encouraging to me as a wife and mom is Boundaries.  Written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend way back in 1992, it has been revised and become part of a series with other books added through the years.  This series replete with Biblical principles has impacted my parenting, and when my children started to approach their teen years, I eagerly picked up another Boundaries book Boundaries for Teens.  There is very practical and applicable information that has helped me to navigate proper boundaries and still show love to my family.  As an only child dealing with conflict is definitely one of my weaknesses.  Because of this, I have a tendency to avoid conflict at all costs.  This is perilous as a mother! This series assisted me in moving through all the new relationships and the changes in seasons as we went from toddler years and adolescence.

Check out the rest of the post over at w2wministries.org!

Praying you’ll have a great weekend!

Mother’s Day Rest

I recently had the opportunity to speak to mothers and daughters who had gathered for an afternoon tea. It was a super sweet occasion and not only fun for the little girls to drink from the fancy cups, but also for the moms and grandmothers, aunts, etc. to just enjoy a time away from the normal hectic Saturday afternoon activities.  As mothers, it’s important to take some time to step away because it’s so easy to stay stuck in the cycle of routine.

I enjoyed sharing with the ladies some of what the Lord had been teaching me as we made some comparisons between our spiritual lives and making a good cup of tea.  Perhaps the funniest part of the event was that I had brought one of my favorite mugs from home – “wake up and be awesome” and made sure it was good and dirty.

(referencing Matthew 23:25, 26 – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.)

Curious where this headed?  click here and read the rest of the story 🙂

 

Also please be sure to get some extra free resources I have made available for you my readers.  Thank you for all of your support!

Coloring Pages – designed for your children with Mother’s Day in mind. Click here for the link to the pages, when you click the images they will give you the ability to download the free PDF file that you can print.

Bible Study on Joy – download your free study here Choose Joy!

We will be digging into this study in Facebook Live sessions at the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page each Monday at 4pm. Come join me here!

What’s in Your Cup – study on Christian Living – just click here for the download!

Less is More

A new blog post is up over at w2wministries.org.  I hope you’ll check it out.  I really believe that in a day and time where we are pushed to get the new and next thing, or to continue to overbook our lives, taking a moment to assess the needs is important.

You can read more here

Praying you’ll be encouraged today!

www.encouragingwomentoday.com

UNPLUG!

Now more than ever we seem to be living on sensory overload!

Have you noticed it too?  Maybe it has crept in on you and the subtle changes to the way you live are not too noticeable.  Or maybe you’ve been aware, but since everyone is doing it you have joined them.  It’s hard not to join in when you see the tops of everyone’s heads as they stay engrossed in their phones and the apps on them.

Now before I go any further I’m not saying technology is bad.  It’s not.  It is so useful and convenient for some many things. I am personally on my laptop, Ipad, phone, etc. numerous hours a week.  But the more we use it, the more we use it.  I realize that was a deep one. But have you noticed just how much we rely on our stuff.  The smaller the gadgets get also the more they invade our every process.  My watch now vibrates my arm on a regular basis reminding me to drink water, to stand up, to get some exercise, what the latest breaking news is and when someone is texting or calling and I don’t have my phone.  Now it’s an incredible convenience and helps me stay on top of things that are good for me and needful, but it can also interrupt my line of thought and keep me off focus.

Read more of this article over at w2wministries.org – just click here

PS – I am getting ready to launch a video series on Finding Joy in our Everyday lives!  I’d love to have you join me!  If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter for Encouraging Women Today – you’ll want to do so to receive the latest updates.  Also if you aren’t on the Facebook page for Encouraging Women today – join us – This is where I will be hosting the Facebook Lives for this project!

Click here for the newsletter signup

Click here for the Facebook page link

I look forward to seeing each of you there!

The Value of a Good Attitude

As a mom who has worked with my own children and many others in my music studio for more than twenty years now, I have realized that if I could encourage parents along the journey with something in particular it would be in the area of life lessons.  I began a blog and outlined a book about life lessons with this sole purpose, and still believe it to be one of the biggest things that I would love for parents to hear and understand.

Learning life lessons that enable children to become better, more responsible adults truly begins in our homes.  Reading this week here, I was surprised to find that many millennials when asked what age adulthood begins respond with the age of 30 or even 40!  What?!  How did this happen? Why did we allow them to believe that their adolescence should and could stretch this far?

While I cannot and will not say that I have all the answers because I truly don’t, I think that we can as parents take an active role in helping our children in their maturity.  We can then encourage those young families with young children to begin the same process in their homes.  While we can’t reap mature adults right away, we can begin to make progress and turn this ship around!

Read the rest over at my post on w2wministries.com

Reclaiming Laughter!

We are plagued in today’s society and our homes by a real travesty.  One that is sneaky and underhanded but devastating nonetheless. Today our homes are in dire need of some humor and lightheartedness.  Dare I even say – we just need to laugh more!

Lest you think this is an easy task for me or even possibly one that I have personally mastered, you must understand that I am type A, only child, goal oriented INFJ who has a tendency to think that laughter is not necessary.  That is until it’s missing for a bit, and everyone is on edge and the mood is miserable.  Then…I stop and try to figure out what’s going on!

This happens in our home when my husband travels.  Certain times of the year he can be gone for several days or even a week or more at a time.  We tend to roll along our merry way for a day or two, but eventually things tend to get a bit tense.  There are three females in the house after all…can I get a witness!  My poor son, y’all pray for him!  Needless to say, my husband who is very even tempered and quick witted tends to keep our home lighthearted and when he’s gone, his absence is definitely noticed.

So what’s a girl to do?

Read the rest of the post over at w2wministries – just click here!

The Importance of Prayer Ministry

One of my favorite books on prayer, Quiet Talks on Prayer, relates a story from DL Moody’s evangelistic ministry. The story hinged on one woman’s prayers during a season of sickness. Homebound and heartsick, she found instead a greater calling to a deeper prayer time. She spent time in prayer for her church, for the services, and for salvation of the lost souls in her community.

She read a story in a journal, sometime into her new season of life, about Mr. Moody and the work he was doing in the United States.  Her prayer became an almost daily petition.   For more than year, she prayed that he would come to London and preach in their church. Yet during all this time she had no sign that her prayers would be answered. No encouragement. No confirmation.  Nothing.

This is an except of a post I have up at Woman to Woman today – you can read the rest here…